MUDr. Mag. theol. P. Vojtěch Novák

* 1958

  • "88? 88, well, I was still... Oh, you see! I was then... I was contacted by an State Security agent. He came to see me in the medical room in Červená voda, where I was working. Yeah. Yeah. He came, I don't know why. I don't even know what he asked me. All I know is I made coffee in front of him and I didn't even offer him a glass of water, nothing. I made a nice coffee, and when he started asking me questions, I know I said, 'No... Look, but I understand that you came here to talk to me, but I don't want to talk to you.' So then he left. But whether there was any connection like that, I don't know, but at the same time, when the Chief Medical Officer told me that I should join the party, that there was nobody in the party in that department, I said, 'Mr Chief Medical Officer, don't be angry. I have a genetic block against it.'"

  • "He had a phenomenal memory and a gift for languages, because he knew slovak so well that the Slovaks couldn't tell he wasn't Slovak. And even, because he worked in the south of Slovakia, he learned Hungarian, which is incomprehensible to me, it's a language that's like special. Dad, when he was in England, learned English and he knew the language perfectly, so even, because it was connected with his memory, he would transfer documents by reading them on one side of England and guiding the document in his head and on the other side of England he would dictate it or write it on the board, more like still. He said that because of the secrecy or because of the wiretaps, many times they weren't even allowed to dictate, and they had to write it on a blackboard so that those who were supposed to read it would read it. The board was erased. Except dad, he had to erase it from his mind too, and that wasn't exactly easy because he remembered the details too. He knew what day he bought this coat. When I asked him where he got the coat, he said, 'Well, I bought it then and there, there and there.' Exactly the date, the hour, the time. And that was more stuff that he remembered. It was really unbelievable."

  • "Yes, they had a farm, so my grandfather used to get up at four o'clock in the morning. First he had to go to the barn because there was no sitting down to eat if there was the cattle with nothing to eat. That just held up. We always had to help and work, but those were always the best times, because then Grandma would tell us about heaven, about the Lord God, about angels, and we always said to ourselves when she talked about heaven, 'Wow, that Grandma, she knows so much, she's probably been there before.' And my grandfather, he was more strict, more principled, but extremely characterful person, who helped a lot of people during the war not to go to a concentration camp. He was also respected by the people there. I myself, as a child, never imagined myself as Vojtěch Novák in the Svébohovsko region of Zábřežsko. I always said, 'I am Aninka Frank's son.'"

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    Rakovník, 18.10.2023

    délka: 01:44:20
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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There are souls everywhere

P. Vojtěch Novák in 1973
P. Vojtěch Novák in 1973
zdroj: archive of a witness

P. Vojtěch Novák was born on 15 August 1958 into a deeply religious Catholic family with strong anti-communist feelings. At the beginning of the German occupation, his father Vojtěch Novák Sr. was active in the resistance, helping to smuggleCzechoslovak army officers across the Slovak border to safety. When he was threatened with arrest, he crossed illegally through Africa to France and then to England. Because he was physically fit, had undergone special training and spoke English, he became President Edvard Beneš‘s bodyguard in London. After the war he was sentenced to five years for treason in a mock trial, but due to his serious health condition he was released after two and a half years. His son P. Vojtěch Novák graduated from SVVŠ and worked as a surgeon in Czechoslovak hospitals for seven years. It should be mentioned that his four sisters, although the political conditions were extremely unfavourable, managed to graduate from universities. Fr. Vojtěch Novák felt from childhood that he wanted to be a priest, and when the opportunity arose in the early 1990s and he knew he was internally ready, he enrolled to study theology at the Cistercian monastery of Heiligenkreuz in Austria. After graduation and a year as a deacon, he was ordained a priest. He first worked in Vlašim and Keblov in the Benesov region. For seventeen years he has been a priest in the parish of Rakovník, where he is assisted by his youngest sister, who became a Dominican nun.